Early, informal presentations were made by a private organization to Smiths Falls powers about the launch of a Smiths Falls Film Festival (SFFF). It is believed that a project of this scale would draw creatives to the city throughout the year until the red carpet event in 2017.
The large Gallipeau Centre for example, now annexed as part of Smiths Falls, would make an excellent venue. It features a new theatre and much space to assist filmmakers. The entrance to the Centre (photo above) is impressive and perfect to handle traffic on screening and awards days. Its colonnade of trees and long driveway are unique and would add prestige to a film festival.
It would be a revenue boosting project for the town with low investment as everyone collaborates whether they are writers, filmmakers, sound techs, key grips, actors, extras, art directors, or simply, mobile phone owners with the Periscope app. This event invites every aspiring storyteller on film. Local services, restaurants, shops, cafes would benefit from the foot traffic, the revenue and the publicity.
SFFF would shore up morale in a city that still smarts from losing its status as, “the Chocolate Capital of Canada,” by the loss of Hershey. The whole city could offer itself as a shooting location, adding invaluable product placement in multiple productions and media. A film festival can be self-financing through sponsorships, advertising, fees and ticket sales; this offers a quick return-on-investment.
East Ontario is under-serviced in the film production industry, a void that can be surely filled by many of its towns or cities culminating into an awards event. It would be a perennial asset for any town or city; thus, a perpetual boost. Smiths Falls was the first sought for the project because of its central location and its great venue.
Canada’s 150th Birthday provides an exciting theme to drive creative content and celebrate our great nation. East Ontario is ostensibly where Canada’s first settlers established the nation. Imagine the story lines!